By Tina Snell, Staff Writer
The Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce has named Tom Tabatt the May Employee of the Month for 2013. A certified nursing assistant, Tabatt has been employed at St. Otto’s Care Center in Little Falls for nearly 34 years.
“I decided this was going to be my career when I was a kid,” Tabatt said. “My great-grandma, Mary Sobiech, was a resident at St. Otto’s and my grandmother, Wanda Tabatt, worked here. I would come to visit both, getting M and M’s from my grandmother. I would come with my cousins and we would hang out and talk to the residents.”
Tabatt said he could tell how much his grandmother enjoyed her job. He said she was always smiling and that encouraged him to follow in her footsteps.
“I feel very honored to receive this recognition,” said Tabatt. “What a privilege to work with the elderly, who have so much to offer, teaching me their wisdom and knowledge over the past 30-plus years. They have treated me as family.”
Tabatt’s job consists of working with the patients and doing for them what they cannot do for themselves. He helps them dress, feed themselves, transfer and more. His job is to work closely with the nurses.
“My co-workers are a great team of people to work with. St. Otto’s is a big part of my life and an awesome place to work. May God bless and ‘thank you’ to the person who nominated me,” he said.
Supervisor Jenevea Bellefeuille said she and her staff are grateful to have Tabatt as part of the St. Otto’s Care Center team.
“His positive attitude and dedication to the elderly are seen every day in his work here at St. Otto’s. We would like to thank Tom for all of his years of service and look forward to many more years to come,” she said.
When not working, Tabatt is an avid gardener at his home in Little Falls.
“In the summer and fall, I sell my organic produce at the Little Falls Farmer’s Market Inc., by the Morrison County Government Center. My garden is about 100-feet by 100-feet and I grow mostly winter squash,” he said.
Tabatt also loves to sing karaoke.
“I must be OK since people dance and clap when I sing,” he said.
He also loves to deer hunt with his father, Herb Tabatt Jr., his son Nicholas and his brother-in-law Todd Meyer.
Tabatt is the eldest of six children. He has four sisters and a younger brother. An important person in his life is his significant other, Arlene Isom.
For being the Employee of the Month, Tabatt received gift certificates from Broadway Stylists, Perkin’s Restaurant and the West Side Bar. He received flowers from Coborn’s Super Store, a cookbook from St. Gabriel’s Hospital Hospice Program and had his photo taken by Silker Studio.